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While the Tiger's Away

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New Delhi isn't exactly Anand's old stomping ground, but Garry Kasparov's first visit to India is surely worth a mention. My boss The Boss is there to deliver a speech at the "Challenges of Change - India Today Conclave" on Saturday. Other speakers include former Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf and the Dalai Lama. I'd managed to work in a few cricket jokes to lighten the mood but after the attack on the cricket team in Lahore this week they might best be scratched. No chess at all during the short trip, not even a simul. Maybe next time.


What a shame. Garry could not ever hope for a more appreciative audience on this planet. And to think there'll be two enlightened souls at the same function. Imagine that! Keep Hope Alive!

Thanks for this "chess news" Mig. The Big Picture lives on and thrives with you, mate. Cheers! JC

I find it amusing you stated "No chess at all" .... yet you put it under the category "Chess" :)

Kasparov should come visit Australia!

Kasparov giving speeches with Musharraf, making cricket jokes and not playing chess. Indeed that's chess news.

Cricket, lovely, cricket! (bumped into this when I was looking for the old song..)


SS Grischuk hits a mine within sight of the harbour. And there are still a couple of U-boats lurking in the deep.

Carlsen now has +3 -2, Ivanchuk has +1 (all other games drawn), quite a difference with Corus for both players .... .

Kasparov is chess folks, does not really matter if he plays or not.

Linares 2009 - year of the rook endgames :-)))

Radjabov - Dominguez just draw another thematic rook endgame. With his active rook and king, black could have drawn the R + f-h pawns endgame even without the e-pawn.
Good to know that my time spending on Smylov/Levenfish Rook Endgame book is not wasted :-)))

The purpose of this blog entry is of course to brag about writing (or having something to do with) Kasparov's speech. Does it really take so little qualification to become a professional political speech writer? Or maybe Kasparov's political activism is carried out in the amateurish manner typical for the chess world?

Sorry about all the guns pointed at your heads to force you to read that paragraph that wasn't about chess. The line to get that 30 seconds of your life back forms on the right.

Troll duly noted, sab. If you knew anything at all about me or my qualifications I might even be a little hurt. I occasionally mention my job in my blog, go figure. If you consider it bragging I guess I have a better job than you do.

You probably have a better job than most of us...

I'm quite happy where I am, but if asked there are few jobs I would rather have than yours. Mythbusters comes to mind, but thats another story.

Take on change with courage: Kasparov
Sharda Ugra
New Delhi, March 7, 2009

Take on change with courage: Kasparov

In a wide-ranging address that invoked Mahatma Gandhi and the treaty of Versailles, Charles Darwin and the World Trade Centre bombings, former world chess champion and now political activist Gary Kasparov warned against a static response of all kinds of crises because, as he said, "The status quo is always changing."

Speaking at the India Today Conclave, Kasparov, once regarded as the greatest chess player that ever lived, but now retired from the sport, said that maintaining the status quo - whether the crisis be financial or political - can feel like victory but the imbalances they caused could lead to great upheaval.

Comparing crises of all kinds to climatic conditions that caused hurricanes, Kasparov said that the greater the imbalances - whether between rich and poor or the empowered and the dispossessed - the greater the energy released and the greater the violence when the two clashed.

What was needed, he believed, was the ability to recognise that change was needed and to find the spirit to make the change. Kasparov, who was the undisputed world chess champion in the 1990s and first half of this decade, called for world leaders and peoples to "take on change with courage, to ask the difficult questions, to make the tough choices - or they will be made for you."

In the 20th century, the articulate polyglot former chess wizard said questioning the status quo had led to great changes in human history and cited Gandhi's salt satyagraha and the first American civil rights march in Selma, Alabama as events that had not had led to immediate changes in government policy or in laws but had their greatest impact on people. "To show them that resistance was possible..." and while not revolutions in themselves, "They made revolution inevitable.

Kasparov, the face and leader of the Other Russia opposition coalition that was fighting against the Vladimir Putin regime, said that if Putin continued to rule, "Russia will cease to exist. The way he handles the country, threatens the existence of Russia."

The Putin administration he said had an agenda that he described as "selling arms to terrorists that kept tensions alive in the Middle East, fueling Iran's nuclear programme and keeping the oil prices high."

He argued passionately against the popular notion that Russia was not suited for democracy, just comparing this belief to the one that said that, "a black man cannot be the president of the United States." He also said described Putin's economic policies as a "bizarre" mix of Adam Smith and Karl Marx, or as he put it, "profits are privatized and expenses nationalised."

On his first visit to Asia despite having vastly-travelled as a chess player and now as a spokesman for Russian democracy, Kasparov said that the globalised world had made the imperatives of change even more urgent.

What the flat world had done, he said, was to unite people at a 'moral level'. Every leap in information systems, he believed, had marked landmark change in human society - from the development of the alphabet, the printing press to common record. The inter-connectedness of the world through the Internet age, he said, had made it possible for the current generation to break the pattern of crisis and violence.

Other than launching a scathing attack on Putin and the oligarchs of Russia, Kasparov said a prime example of a failure to respond to change was epitomised in the United Nations, a body that was created to handle the nuclear tension of the Cold War.

He reminded the audience of Winston Churchill's famous "iron curtain" speech, which had also warned that the UN would get caught in "corruption and gridlock".

Kasparov said Churchill's words had come true, as the mission of the UN had become "obsolete" after the fall of the Berlin Wall but the organisation had failed to embrace dynamic change and alter its own mandate to suit the demands of the modern world.

Impressing upon the gathered delegates on the need to be alert to falling victims to intellectual complacency, he then reminded them that it was Churchill who had refused to accept the idea of independence of India and the eventual success of Indian democracy. "The failure of the imagination is a virus that can affect even the greatest minds."

Thanks for finding that, cool. It went very well, great response during and after the speech. "The status quo is dead," is the actual phrase he uses, not "always changing." A little more blunt!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on March 4, 2009 11:34 PM.

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